The Gallatin CD first started dreaming about developing the Education and Outreach Center (EOC) in 2010. The first step was to find an office space and available lot to make the dream a reality. After looking at several lots throughout the Gallatin Valley we decided to look closer to the Manhattan area since the greater part of the agriculture community is to the West of the valley and much of the development is more towards the Bozeman area.
The EOC started out as a gravel lot covered in weeds. It had been an old bowling ally that many of our supervisors remembered using when they were kids. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to take the space and turn it into something beautiful!
It was built with many helpful hands and a huge support system from the community. The estimated total cost of the project was $125,000. We received a few very generous donations from local organizations and applied for and received help from several grants that helped cover some of the costs towards the project. However, we could have never done it without the help of volunteers, supervisors, community members, and vendors who stepped up to donate time, materials, and labor.
In 2014, the EOC was recognized by the National Association of Conservation Districts and received the Presidents Award which notices an individual or organization that has been especially dedicated to advancing conservation.
HOW IS THE SPACE USED?
Educational Events &Workshops
Natural resource and environmental education is at the forefront of everything we do at the Gallatin Conservation District. The EOC provides us, and the community, with a beautiful outdoor learning space where GCD staff conducts a variety of educational workshops and events for all ages throughout the year. Workshop topics vary depending on the time of year, community interests, and what is going on in the world.
The Education and Outreach Center does not refer to one single building, but to an entire outdoor space whose main purpose is to demonstrate different types of conservation landscaping, native plant communities, and sustainable gardening methods (including composting and native gardening techniques). Educational signage and plant ID cards are posted throughout the gardens.
Are you interested in growing your own garden to attract pollinators? Check out this useful website!
Community Gathering Space
The EOC is open at all times for anyone to enjoy and GCD often hosts activities in the EOC for community events such as the Manhattan Christmas Stroll and Potato Fest.
We are strong supporters of our Manhattan community, Greater Gallatin Valley, and the state of Montana. We encourage everyone to be a larger part of the community and conservation district world by participating in your local CD’s and all they have to offer!
Our main office is located next door to the Education and Outreach Center at 120 S 5th St, Suite B104 so feel free to stop by and ask questions about the space!
We have plenty of volunteer opportunities available throughout the Spring and Summer. Everything from garden upkeep to teaching youth about conservation! Contact GCD staff for more info!
Thank You to our Very Generous Donors
Big Sky Watershed Corps
Bridger Plan Materials Center
Crop Production Services
DNRC Montana State Nursery
Earth Systems Compost
Gallatin County Master Gardeners
Gallatin CD Supervisors
MT Department of Natural
Resources & Conservation
Gallatin County Weed District
Holland Concrete Construction
The Manhattan Community
National Association of
Montana Conservation Corps
Montana Native Plant Society
Montana State University Extention
MSU Water Quality & Horticulture Depts
Spring Creek Farms
Town of Manhattan
USDA Natural Resource Conservation
Val Mencas Excavation